There is definitely a main tip to which, I'm sure, everyone knows to a successful loss of weight on a diet, any diet, be it keto, Starch, cabbage soup, meal replacement, cutting down calories or simply changing what and the way we eat and that is mindset.
This is the very first thing that needs to be in full gear in order to start. I think starting is the hardest. This is true with most things really isn't it? Ironing is true in this case for me. Getting that ironing board set up is like pulling teeth.
It can take the average person months to firstly know they want to change to then knowing there is no better time than the present.
Even before the positive mindset kicks in I believe these tips are essential to a healthier way around food but they are key when on any kind of diet/food habit change.
1.Be conscious of what you are eating.
When it's time to eat, make that meal the Universe. Whether it's been lovingly prepared and cooked from scratch or taken from a packet, make sure the food is presented well, pleasing to the eye and anything you'd be happy to serve up to guests. Make sure you are sat in an upright position, use beautiful cutlery, use your best crockery, lay the table as you would for guests, make that time count. Do not eat whilst watching TV, listening to podcasts, radios, neighbours conversations 🤭 or any distraction. Focus on every bite and enjoy the sensation. This way you'll acknowledge the "full" signs and not eating another portion or 3.
2. Eat only when hungry.
Recognise that hunger but don't wait too long or you'll move into Hanger ( the angry hunger) and make bad food choices. Letting your body know the feeling of being ready for food will train your brain into train that timing. All too often we look at the clock and think because it's time for lunch or dinner or supper it's time to eat, regardless of what your body needs. Within time your body will regulate your own needs to knowing when to eat.
3. Don't overeat.
Start by working out your meals for the day then calculate the calories. This can be triggering for some people so know whether this will help or hinder. We often underestimate the calories we consume. To lose weight we need to be in a calorie deficit. It's as simple as that. We need to use more calories than we consume but saying that we also need to have enough calories to give us the energy to use them. It's a balance of nutrient dense, low calorie foods and enough exercise to not deplete us. This is where The Starch Solution diet made sense to me.
I followed some Youtubers for a real life guidance on this, as well as reading the book by Dr. McDoughall.
Youtubers: Plantifulkiki and HighcarbHannah are great for their recipes.
4. Cut down or STOP processed foods.
They are full of salt and sugar and oil. The 3 ingredients that help you hold fat on your body. Sodium makes you retain water which is why, when we start a low calorie diet we need the loo more and our weight can drop 6lb or so in the first week. A lot of the weight is water, then consistency keeps us going and moving into fat loss after the next few weeks.
We hear the phrase " healthy fats" meaning things like nuts, olive oil, avocado etc. This is true, they are the healthy fats but.....they won't help you lose weight. Cut all fats out while losing weight then you can slowly introduce them back once you are at maintenance stage. A small amount of healthy fats pack huge amounts of calories.
Refined sugar is a no no to health. Not only does it put fat on your body, it is extremely damaging to your health long term and is highly highly addictive. I can't stress enough how addictive it is. We are brought up on this drug in the Western world and its acceptable to feed it to our children in the form of juice drinks, cereals and sweets. Then also in the food that we buy. Making your own meals from scratch eliminates this.
5. Drink Water
Everyone hears this and there is much science to prove it but when I know first hand that it does work I don't need any science to prove it to me. Take my word for it, drinking enough water helps with weight loss.
I Drink 2 litres at the minimum a day. When I don't, for reasons such as not enough time, I'll be in a place that I can't get to the loo or simply that I'm struggling that day to physically drink water, I know about it. I can't poop and even when I know I've eaten limited calories that day, I won't have lost any weight. If you are worried about having to get up through the night, after a few days your body regulates the elimination and you don't have to constantly go running to a toilet or get up a half dozen times through the night, breaking your sleep. If it's still a concern, make sure you drink your quota before, say, 5pm. That's a sure way to help you get through, what seems a huge amount in the beginning but really isn't that much once you get into water drinking. I have a litre water bottle and try to drink half of one before my morning coffee, the remainder after my coffee, then fill the bottle again x2 and if I drink the first one I know I'm on a winner. I don't drink anything else after my first coffee so water is my only drink. You could try replacing a couple cups of coffee or tea with water throughout the day as a starter. Whatever you do and how you manage it trust me when I say this is probably the most important tip to weight loss.
Along with these tips you can always book in for a hypnotherapy session with me or a relaxing Reflexology or Reiki session to really kick start your weight loss journey.
Most importantly, be gentle on yourself. Weight loss shouldn't be an excuse to punish yourself. You are still you under your skin.